Nurse practitioners, or advanced practice registered nurses, have become a critical part of the health care team in recent years. They perform many of the tasks that a physician does.
A nurse practitioner’s responsibilities may include performing physical exams and minor surgical procedures, taking patient histories, prescribing medications and educating patients. As such, nurse practitioners may have a greater risk of liability than other nurses when or if something goes wrong. Even if you have never had a complaint against you, it is wise to be aware of the risks.
What can result in you losing your professional license?
There are a few different situations that may result in you losing your professional license to practice as a medical provider, including:
- Developing a dependency on alcohol or drugs
- Committing fraud
- Criminal convictions
- Sexual misconduct
Generally, malpractice allegations wouldn’t put your license in jeopardy; however, there are some instances in which delegation failures might.
These task delegation tips can protect your nursing license
In most careers, taking preventive measures is the ideal way to protect against any legal hardship. A nurse practitioner must typically delegate some tasks to other workers. Unfortunately, this could endanger your nursing license if these workers make mistakes when following your instructions. The tips below can help you avoid legal trouble when delegating duties to others.
- Ensure that the coworker that you delegate to is adequately trained
- Observe the level of competency coworkers display
- Know the rules, regulations and laws that apply to your career and of those with whom you work
- Double-check your work and the work of your associates
- Ensure that you or your colleagues don’t abandon patients
- Refer to your coworkers (nurses, assistants, technicians, etc.) by their proper titles
We also suggest giving some thought to how you handle a licensing issue if one should arise. Many nurses in Sacramento consult with legal professionals even before trouble occurs. Doing so helps you learn how to follow the scope of practice laws while also giving you insight into building a successful nursing license defense.
We hope you never have to fear losing your license. However, if such a time arrives, consider seeking legal guidance to continue protecting your career.